Old Fashioned Lime Cottage Cheese Jello Salad

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Lime Cottage Cheese Jello Salad combines a handful of tasty ingredients into an unforgettable retro classic. You’ll love the sweetness of the pineapple, crunch from the walnuts, and creaminess of the cottage cheese in this unique vintage recipe, ideal for Thanksgiving, Easter, and Christmas spreads.

A square of the finished Lime jello salad on a white plate.


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Lime Jello Salad: A Unique Holiday Treat

Lime Jello Salad with cottage cheese is refreshing and tangy, balanced by the smooth sweetness of evaporated milk. This delicious Jello may remind you of your grandmother’s table, or of nostalgic mid-century comfort foods; perhaps your mom made this salad, or a similar one, for holiday gatherings.

Gelatin is not vegan, as it is made of animal collagen. While this recipe uses lime Jello, luckily, vegan Jello options are available, and can be used to substitute in this recipe if needed.

Why This Lime Cottage Cheese Jello Salad Recipe is a Keeper

My grandmother’s recipe for lime green jello salad can not be beat. This old recipe, along with her strawberry pretzel salad, are a family favorite for all our get togethers. You might know this as Watergate salad or Cottage Cheese Salad.

  • Easy Ingredients: This lime Jello salad recipe uses simple ingredients to make a delicious snack or dessert. Use a box of lime Jello mixture as the base, and add toppings as you see fit.
  • Adaptable: You could make this recipe with lemon and lime Jello instead, or your favorite Jello mix. The sweetness of the Jello may vary depending on the flavor you use. It’s possible to use sugar-free Jello as well.
  • Makes Great Leftovers: Lime Jell-o Salad stores great in the fridge, and will be just as good 2 days later. This jello fluff salad is light and instead of cream cheese we use cottage cheese.

If you’re looking for more Jello-inspired recipes, try Orange Jello Salad, Cherry Jello Salad with Fruit, and Cranberry Raspberry Jello Salad.

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Can Jello Molds be Used for this Recipe?

A side view of the cottage cheese dessert.

Yes! You’ll love this salad even more if you use a Jello mold to add a festive flair to this vintage dessert. Transform grandma’s lime green jello salad recipe into a charming centerpiece for your holiday spread with any shaped mold or Bundt pan, along with some cooking spray. Using differently-shaped molds will ensure that you have a unique congealed salad every holiday.

Ingredient Notes for Green Jello Salad

Two boxes of lime jello. cottage cheese, sugar and nuts for the dessert.

A few quick and cheap ingredients can help you create the perfect lime Jello salad:

  • Lime Gelatin: Sugar free can be great in this dessert salad recipe. We made this Jello salad with Lime Jello, but any flavor is great in this green Jello salad recipe.
  • Small Curd Cottage Cheese: Instead of softened cream cheese, which also works for this recipe.
  • Crushed Pineapple: Lime Jello and pineapple complement each other excellently.

See the recipe card below for a complete list of the ingredients with measurements.

Variations and Substitutions for Green Lime Jello Salad Recipe

There are many ways to make this great family recipe, particularly when varying the toppings and flavors used. Here are some ideas to shake up this timeless recipe for lime gelatin salad:

  • Different Fruits: Instead of pineapple Jello salad, experiment with this fruit salad by adding peaches or mandarin oranges. Pineapple and lime are always a good combination, but there are lots of other versions of this recipe to try.
  • Different Nuts: Other kinds of nuts may be used in place of walnuts, or nuts may be omitted altogether in the case of allergies or personal preference.
  • Cream Cheese: While the recipe card may call for 8 oz carton of cottage cheese, you can use room temperature cream cheese instead of cottage cheese in order to vary the texture of this vintage lime Jello salad. Lime Jello and cream cheese, like cottage cheese, provide a great mix of sweet and tangy flavor.
  • Mini Marshmallows: Try adding mini marshmallows to add texture and flavor to your green lime Jello salad. Or use lemon jello instead.

How to Make Retro Lime Jello Salad with Cottage Cheese

This simple and nostalgic holiday Jello salad recipe is easy to make, and will certainly make your holiday table the talk of family gatherings for years to come!

These are the basic steps for making Lime Jello Salad. Refer to the full, printable recipe card below for detailed instructions.

Creating the lime jello.

STEP 1: Make the Fruit Salad and add the Lime Jello

In a large sauce pan combine reserved pineapple juice and bring water to a boil, then remove from heat and add the 2 boxes of lime Jello.

STEP 2: Make the Fruit Salad Jello and Crushed Pineapple

In a large bowl, mix together the evaporated milk and mayonnaise. Slowly add the Jello and mix, then fold in the cottage cheese, crushed pineapple, and walnuts. Stir until Jello with the cottage cheese and walnuts, then pour the gelatin salad into a square baking dish.

STEP 3: Refrigerate the Green Jello Salad Recipe

You will want to cover baking dish and refrigerate for at least 4 hours; nobody wants hot Jello! Serve with cool whip and crushed pineapple.

Adding the nuts and cream for the salad.

Recipe FAQs To Love this Recipe for Green Jello Congealed Salad Recipe

You can substitute any Jello flavor you’d like in place of lime in this green Jello salad. Make it to your taste,

Jello salad become very popular in the Depression era, as people were trying to spread simple ingredients as far as possible. In the 1950s and 60s, they became a fad, as they were a cheap and simple way to decorate dinner tables with an eye-catching display.

Yes; you can layer this recipe with different ingredients, such as cottage cheese and cool whip, or cream cheese and walnuts. Chill one layer of Jello salad in the refrigerator, then layer the Jello on top to create more.

A complete salad in the dish an old fashioned lime cottage cheese salad a slice on a white dish

Expert Tips for Making to Make Lime Jello Fruit Salad

  • Double: If you want to double this great salad, increase ingredients proportionally and split between two dishes. This recipe is great as a side dish too.
  • Flavored Jello: Use any other flavor, such as strawberry, pineapple, cherry, lemon, or raspberry.
  • Toppings: Some suggestions for toppings are whipped cream, cool whip, pineapple chunks, maraschino cherries, chopped walnuts, and mini marshmallows.
  • Additions: blend in coconut, fresh pineapple, cranberry, or different nuts such as pecans or fruits to the jello salad.
A square of lime jello salad on a plate.
4.74 from 15 votes

Old Fashioned Lime Cottage Cheese Jello Salad

Yield: 8 servings
Prep: 15 minutes
Cool Time: 4 hours
Total: 4 hours 15 minutes
Old Fashioned Lime Cottage Cheese Jello Salad combines simple ingredients in a tasty way. You’ll love the sweetness of the pineapple and crunch from the walnuts.
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⭐️ ⭐️ ⭐️ ⭐️ ⭐️Did you try this recipe? Please leave a star rating and review below!


  • 8 ounces Pineapple, 1 can of crushed pineapple, drain and reserve juice
  • 1 cup Water, adjust amount based on instructions below
  • 1 cup Mayonnaise
  • 1 cup Evaporated milk
  • 1 cup Small curd cottage cheese
  • ½ cup Walnuts, chopped
  • 6 ounces Lime gelatin, two 3 oz boxes


  • Add reserved pineapple juice to a 2 cup measuring cup. Add water to bring the liquid to 2 cups.
  • Add liquid to large sauce pan and bring it to a boil; Remove from heat.
  • Add the lime gelatin to the heated liquid and stir until combined.
  • In a large bowl, stir together the mayonnaise, and evaporated milk until smooth. Slowly add in the gelatin mixture and stir until combined.
  • Fold in the cottage cheese, crushed pineapple and chopped walnuts.
  • Pour the mixture into an 8×8 baking dish; Cover and refrigerate for at least 4 hours.

Expert Tips

    • Double: If you want to double this great salad, increase ingredients proportionally and split between two dishes. This recipe is great as a side dish too.
    • Flavored Jello: Use any other flavor, such as strawberry, pineapple, cherry, lemon, or raspberry.
    • Toppings: Some suggestions for toppings are whipped cream, cool whip, pineapple chunks, maraschino cherries, chopped walnuts, and mini marshmallows.
    • Additions: blend in coconut, fresh pineapple, cranberry, or different nuts such as pecans or fruits to the jello salad.

Estimated Nutritional Information

Calories: 376kcal | Carbohydrates: 27g | Protein: 5g | Fat: 28g | Saturated Fat: 5g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 16g | Monounsaturated Fat: 6g | Trans Fat: 0.1g | Cholesterol: 21mg | Sodium: 312mg | Potassium: 166mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 25g | Vitamin A: 111IU | Vitamin C: 14mg | Calcium: 97mg | Iron: 0.4mg
The nutritional information provided are estimates. To learn more about how I calculate this information go to www.itisakeeper.com/about-its-a-keeper/privacy-disclosure-policies/
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Course: Dessert, Snack
Cuisine: American

16 thoughts on “Old Fashioned Lime Cottage Cheese Jello Salad”

  1. 2 stars
    My mother prepared this for our family holiday. Always an empty dish. With her passing I lost the recipe, can’t tell you how happy I was to see it. Thank you it’s in now in my recipe box to make for the upcoming Holiday. 🦋❤️🌹

  2. I make a similar version , use 8 ounces of diced pineapple , 1 cup of juice , 1 cup evaporated milk , 1 box lime Jello , small curd cottage cheese , lots of walnuts ( closer to a cup ) . It is fondly called “the green slop” but is delicious with ham and as desert .

    • Truly it depends on how big you wish to make them when you cut it. However the calories etc. are based on 8 servings. Enjoy!

  3. 4 stars
    I make this with one small lime jello (or whatever we have in the pantry), one zero calorie cool whip, one can pineapple, 1/2-1 cup pecans and one small size cottage cheese-curd and fat your choice! Easy peasy! Would think about trying with condensed milk, but never had it with mayonnaise.

  4. 5 stars
    my family have been eating this since before I was born (I’m 65), With one addition- a spoonful of horseradish! You don’t really taste the horseradish, it just adds a little something interesting.

  5. 5 stars
    Oh my! This takes me back to my mom and all her strange treats she would make and test on my sister and I before they were servered at special dinners for army officers. I have been looking for this one for some time! Thank you!! (I am 83 years old, so you can tell how long this recipe has been around! A real RETRO!)

    • Absobloominlutely fabulous! As a kid we called it (Aunt) Janet’s Whatchamacallit Salad and NEVER left out the horseradish… Years later my hubby Jim would have me triple it and have it for breakfast, lunch, dinner, dessert & snacks until it was gone! Then ask when I was going to make it again! 💋

  6. My sister use to make this every Christmas. It was such a hit! I thought I remembered her putting shredded cheddar cheese also. I am wondering if I added it, if it would be okay.


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